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Phymaturus aguanegra LOBO, LASPIUR & ACOSTA, 2013

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Higher TaxaLiolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymPhymaturus aguanegra LOBO, LASPIUR & ACOSTA 2013 
DistributionNW Argentina

Type locality: Paso Agua Negra, Iglesia department, San Juan province, Argentina. 30°23’ S; 69°34’ W. 2900 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: MCN-UNSa (= MCN) 975. Male. April 2007. A. Laspiur, E. Sanabria & L. Quiroga collectors. Paratypes: MCN (969, 973-975, 977, 979, 982, 984, 988, 990-991, 995 and 971-972, 976, 978, 980, 981, 983, 986-987, 989, 992-993). 13 males and 14 females. Same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Phymaturus aguanegra sp. nov. differs from all other members (P. antofagastensis, P. denotatus, P. laurenti, P. punae, P. extrilidus, P. mallimaccii and P. paihuanense) exhibiting the following combination of diagnostic characters: a complete melanism over the dorsum of neck, the presence of enlarged scales at the base of tail in males, having strongly keeled tarsal scales, lacking enlarged scales on the anterior margin of the antehumeral fold and centre of chest, females without flank coloration, a vertebral dark gray stripe usually present on the dorsum, females exhibiting a tricolor dorsal pattern, with two types of brown and scattered ferriferous oxide spots, and the absence of a scapular spot.

Diagnosis. Phymaturus aguanegra belongs to the palluma group (sensu Etheridge 1995) because it has square, non-imbricate superciliaries, scales of the tail markedly spinose, usually a fragmented subocular, and the subocular-supralabials are separated by two or more scale rows. This new taxon belongs to the Puna subclade of the palluma group (Lobo & Quinteros 2005) because it shows the typical dorsal “spray” pattern (southern palluma group members show a dorsal reticulated pattern).
Within the Puna subclade, Phymaturus aguanegra differs from P. antofagastensis, P. punae and P. laurenti because it presents a complete melanism over the dorsum of neck, whereas the other three species exhibit a clear interruption in the mid dorsal line (Figs. 2A and B). Phymaturus aguanegra differs from P. antofagastensis and P. punae in the presence of enlarged scales at the base of tail in males, which are absent in these two species (see this character in Fig. 15B of Lobo et al. 2010a). Phymaturus aguanegra has strongly keeled tarsal scales, differing from P. laurenti (slightly keeled). Tail of males and females of Phymaturus aguanegra lacks a pattern, whereas in P. antofagastensis, P. punae, P. laurenti, and P. mallimaccii the tail of females is always ringed, and the tail of males of P. mallimaccii and P. punae is ringed (not as marked as in females); however, in males of P. antofagastensis and P. laurenti the ringed pattern may be present or absent (see this character in Fig. 10C of Lobo & Quinteros 2005b). Phymaturus aguanegra lacks enlarged scales on the anterior margin of the antehumeral fold and centre of chest, as in P. antofagastensis and P. laurenti (Fig.2 C and D). Females of P. aguanegra lack flank coloration, whereas in P. antofagastensis (yellow), P. mallimaccii and P. laurenti (orange), coloration is conspicuous. A vertebral dark gray stripe is usually present on the dorsum of Phymaturus aguanegra, whereas in P. antofagastensis and P. laurenti, it is always absent. In P. punae and P. mallimaccii this vertebral stripe is light gray. Females of Phymaturus aguanegra lack transversal white stripes on the dorsal pattern, as females of P. antofagastensis and some females of P. laurenti (see this character in Fig. 10A of Lobo et al. 2010a). Females and, to a lesser extent, males of P. aguanegra exhibit a tricolor dorsal pattern, with two shades of brown and scattered ferriferous oxide spots; this pattern is not found in any other species of the group, except the species we describe below and P. paihuanense. Phymaturus aguanegra lacks a scapular spot, present in P. mallimaccii and P. extrilidus. Rostral scale is always undivided in Phymaturus aguanegra, whereas it can be divided in P. antofagastensis and P. punae. Sexual dichromatism is more pronounced in P. punae, P. antofagastensis, P. mallimaccii, and P. laurenti than in P. aguanegra, in which the dorsal pattern of males is slightly yellow or inconspicuous. Phymaturus aguanegra differs from the recently described Chilean species P. paihuanense (Núñez et al., 2010) in the presence of dorsal melanism of head and neck (absent in P. paihuanense), in having scales not enlarged on the anterior margin of the antehumeral fold (present in P. paihuanense) and differs from P. damasense (Troncoso-Palacios & Lobo 2012) in the presence of non-projected scales on the anterior border of auditory meatus (present in P. damasense) and in the color pattern of males and females. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is given after its type locality. [“Agua Negra”] toponym, which refers to the dark water aspect of Andean streams near the type locality. 
  • Lobo, F., Barrasso, D. A., Hibbard, T. and Basso, N. G. 2015. On the evolution and diversification of an Andean clade of reptiles: combining morphology and DNA sequences of the palluma group (Liolaemidae: Phymaturus). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 176:648–673, doi: 10.1111/zoj.12335 [2016]
  • LOBO, FERNANDO; ALEJANDRO LASPIUR, JUAN CARLOS ACOSTA 2013. Description of new andean species of the genus Phymaturus (Iguania: Liolaemidae) from Northwestern Argentina. Zootaxa 3683: 117–132 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
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